Ride More Waves with a Fish Surfboard, an Awesome Wave-Catching Machine. Fish shapes, they’ve been around since the 60’s, made popular in a huge way in the 70’s, and stayed completely relevant some 40 years. We’re talking about the fish surfboard, one of the best and most versatile surfboards ever created. It has also landed a top buy position on the wish list of many surfers.
What is Fish surfboard?
A fish surfboard is aptly named due to its fish-like body shape, and a recognizable swallowtail. It is short, thick, and wide, with a pointed nose and a flat rocker in the nose and tail. Traditional fish surfboards were designed with twin keel fins, while modern fish surfboards now come equipped with three fins. The fish surfboard is classified as a hybrid as it is thick and wide like a longboard, yet short just like a shortboard. Typically shorter and wider than a shortboard, its dimensions range between 5 to 6 inches in length, and 18 to 20 inches in width.
Wonder why the fish surfboard is such a popular buy? With its width and thickness, it has been designed to catch more waves, while maintaining flexibility and speed of turns. This allows surfers to enjoy the best of both worlds: the wave-catching ability of a longboard in a shortboard package. The fish surfboard has a minimized rocker and a flat bottom, hence reducing its resistance through the water. The design of its width and tails also enhances its flotation and lift. Due to these features, the fish surfboard is able to catch waves extremely well, and provide surfers a longer ride.
The shortness of a fish surfboard enables riders to power up top speed in a short time, promising faster turns and greater maneuverability. With its tight turning radius, the fish surfboard is ideally suited for smaller and medium waves. You will commonly find three types of fish surfboards in surf stores: The Retro Fish or Twin Fin Fish, the Quad Fin Fish, and the Hybrid Fish.
Retro Fish Surfboard: An Absolute Blast to Ride
Wanting to enhance my surfing performance and stoke, I have been sourcing around tirelessly for a good surf board. My best surf buddy suggested I try a fish surfboard, and take his favorite Retro Fish Surfboard out for a ride. Wow, it totally ripped, and I was instantly hooked!
The Retro Fish is an old school surfboard with a design based on the 70’s. However, don’t be fooled by the “old school” tag, you need to think fast and move even faster on this classic beauty. The Retro Fish surfboard offers a classic feel with new school technology. It is shaped with a wide nose and tail, two fin built up, and a large thickness and width. This creates a board with a lot of volume, resulting in good flotation, paddling speed, and stability. The Retro Fish catches waves like a longboard, yet surfs similar to a shortboard.
Surf shops have been seeing a massive surge of interest and demand for Retro Fishes in recent years. They have been flying off the shelves of all surf stores, and it is not difficult to see why. Retro Fish surfboards offer superior speed and maneuverability, and superb wave catching ability – despite small surf. You will enjoy long fun rides, even over flat sections of the waves. The Retro Fish just flies and keeps going, when other surfboards would have slowed down.
While the Retro Fish surfboard is most ideal for small summer surf or weak surf condition – typically knee to chest high surf, with some slight modification and skills, it can also handle overhead waves. The Retro Fish is great at generating speed down the line, using all its distinctive features to create blazing speed, blowing through sections like a hurricane. Due to its fast speed in the small surf and tight turning radius, it smoothly commands the break. It easily goes air-borne, making catching waves more like flying than surfing!
Essentially, the Retro Fish surfboard is an innovative and unique hybrid that combines the best features of different types of surfboards. Intermediate surfers thinking of switching to a shortboard, and experienced surfers looking to shake up mundane surfing experiences, will not be disappointed by the performance of the Retro Fish. If you are planning to find a good surfboard that improves your surfing form, enables you to catch more waves and have more fun, I highly recommend the Retro Fish surfboard as a best buy for any surfer’s quiver.
Hybrid Fish Surfboards – Combining Innovation with Tradition
Surfboard design is going through a new dawn with more cutting edge shapes and materials available than before in surf shops. Fish surfboards are the new hybrids designed to give experienced surfers a new taste of riding the waves. With such a dazzling array of fish surfboards, it was difficult deciding on the best fish surfboard for my surfing needs. With all the hype of boards with twin fins and quad fins overtaking the surfing world, I was intrigued to chance upon the Hybrid Fish Surfboard, and its unique design.
A Hybrid Fish maintains the standard features of a fish surfboard – the width, thickness, and fish tail. The key difference is its fins configuration – the Hybrid Fish is equippedwith the traditional tri-fin setup – also known as thrusters. Commonly established as the standard fin configuration, the three fin design was created as an answer to the flaws of the single fin and twin fins setup. The tri-fin design combines the glide of a longboard, and the performance of a shortboard in a single setup.
With a tri-fin setup, the Hybrid Fish surfboard provides enhanced drive, stability, control and turning capabilities in almost all types of waves and surfing conditions. Its fin configuration helps make the board go faster from rail to rail, tightening its mobility. I was able to adjust my weight and momentum when I turned, resulting in more precise maneuverability.
Hybrid fish surfboards are usually larger than the Retro Fish surfboard, and typically range between 6 to 7 feet. It is a superb choice for riding high and overhead surf, and is also ideal for an older or heavier surfer who wants to enjoy the mobility of a shorter board, but without sacrificing the floatation factor. Excited to experience the surprises this interesting surfboard has in store for surfers, I sourced out the best deal I could find at an online store, and took my Hybrid Fish out immediately for its test surf.
What an amazing ride it was: The first wave I caught soon had me on the face; the fins gave an extremely boosting drive, allowing me to come down the face and head into a smooth speeding bottom turn. Flying into a vertical snap next with such top speed, I was able to set up a roundhouse cutback to finish off the wave. My final verdict: The Hybrid Fish surfboard is wide, stable and fast. If you are looking for speed down the line in small to overhead surf, this sweet board is simply the best buy. The Hybrid Fish is truly in a league of its own.
Quad Fin Fish Surfboard: A Speed Demon on Meds
In recent times, there has a wave of change in surfboard experimentation, and an upsurge in popularity of the Quad Fin Fish surfboard. Surfers are looking back at the 80’s quads as a source of inspiration, creating a new quad trend with the use of new technology and skill.
Not one to miss out on the latest trend, I sourced out several dozens of surf shops and online stores, in a determined effort to find the best Quad Fin Fish I can lay my hands on. After much hard work, I managed to get my hooks into a first-rate Quad Fin Fish, and I eagerly took it out for a test ride. The Quad Fin Fish has been designed as a high performance board, with a slightly sharper nose and tail than the Retro Fish surfboard, and a four-fin setup, giving it more hold and stability for larger surf. Its quad fin configuration ups the ante in the game of speed.
With its thick and wide body, the Quad Fin Fish allows for easy paddling, good floatation, and exhilarating wave catching. At the same time, I was able to perform turns and cutbacks on it like a shortboard; with its 4 fins, this board really flies down the line. The Quad Fin Fish surfboard is highly speed efficient, and it works much faster than boards with standard thrusters or twin fins. Contrary to common belief, having four fins does not create more drag. Both sets of fins are working together on the rail, without the added drag of a center fin. It generates such amazing speed down the line that you can rip even on mushy waves.
The Quad Fin Fish also enjoys greater maneuverability compared with thrusters or twin fins. As the fins are placed further up the board, this brings the fins directly beneath my back foot. I enjoyed a greater degree of control, resulting in an extremely responsive board. With four fins in the water, the Quad Fin Fish surfboard commands an incredible amount of holding power in larger surf. It worked great for smaller waves, but really came alive in head high to overhead waves.
This is a board that was shredding, very fast, and with a good range. I had tons of fun on it! The Quad Fin Fish is a great buy as it is a perfect match up of the Retro Fish surfboard and a high performance shortboard. It is ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers, or someone looking for a speed machine on waves.
Bonus: How to Take Good Care of Your Surfboard
Buying a surfboard can be a costly affair, and it gets damaged easily, hence requiring careful handling and constant maintenance. Having spent much time sourcing out countless surf shops and online stores to find the best surfboard, you would want to keep it around for as long as possible.
Taking good care of your surf equipment is easy, and can prolong its useful life. Here are some basic tips to keep your surfboard in tip-top condition and working efficiently.
- Rinse off your surfboard with fresh water once out from the ocean. This should be done as soon as possible after surfing, to remove any salt water which can cause damage over tim
- Invest in a good quality board bag to store your surfboard. When not in use, keep your surfboard in the board bag at all times to protect it. This will lessen its exposure to the sun, and prevent it from getting banged around, especially when transporting your surfboard to the beach.
- Avoid leaving your surfboard in the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays will weaken your surfboard’s fiber coating, making it easy to crack. Once water is allowed to enter, it will cause major yellowing and delamination – where the fiberglass separates from the foam core.
- Never leave your surfboard standing up against a wall or fence. It can easily fall if caught by a gust of wind or a small bump, cracking the fiberglass coating. Build a rack to hang your surfboard horizontally, fins facing up.
- Get a surfboard rack for the top of your car for proper transport of your surfboard to the beach. You could also pad your roof rack with pipe insulation or similar material to give a nice soft ride.
- When strapping your surfboard to the roof of your vehicle, do not over-tighten the straps, which could put a pressure ding – a puncture or dent – in the rails. Your surfboard should be sufficiently secured so that it will not come undone at speed during the drive.
- Repair any board ding immediately with a ding repair kit or have it done by a professional at any surf shop. This needs to be done as soon as possible, or at least have any holes sealed to prevent water getting into the foam.
Never delay – even minor dings can create serious problems if left untreated for a long time. Use duct tape to cover a ding, or in an emergency, board wax can be pushed into a hole to seal it.
Adhering to the following tips will help to prolong the life of your surfboard, and guarantee the continued enjoyment of your favorite sport on your beloved board.